Wednesday, April 2, 2014

five months

Five months? Now where has the time gone. I knew right around this time when you would start becoming a fun dude, time would start flying by- and it has. You are still fussy and not a content guy- but you are fun and you love the hell out of us. All you have to do is see our faces and you have a huge smile. You are doing really cool things and we love watching you grow up. So amazing, little guy.

What you have been up to this past month...
  • Two teeth! Henry!!! You have two tiny teeth, front bottom teeth. Amazing. We thought you were teething, and were certainly grumpy, drooling and chewing on your hands...and then you sprouted two teeth. Don't be fooled by their tiny size, these are fierce, sharp teeth.
  • You *occasionally* sleep through the night, like 12 hours. It's also amazing. It seems to be you have one good night of sleep, then one bad one. Of course nothing is really that predictable.
  • You love to roll from back to tummy and tummy to back. You are quite proficient.
  • We took the leap of sleeping you unswaddled...and it works for bedtime! Nap time we still need to constrain your arms for a longer, more purposeful nap. You were fighting that swaddle so much throughout the night, so we stopped, and it has been nice for you to soothe yourself as we muddle through cry-it-out method. 
  • Your laugh is precious. You are most ticklish under your arms and chin. You also laugh with peek a boo or when dad scares you and says "I'm going to get you!" Cora also loves being spooked- so this is not new to us, you're just clearly one of our kids, it fits.
  • You like to eat baby food at dinner and lunch. You weren't a fan of rice cereal, you like the tasty foods like carrots, bananas, squash, pears, peas even. 
  • You just barely found your toes and can hold a toy for a little while to chew on. 
  • Your skin is quite sensitive perhaps to detergents/soaps. You get rashes extremely easily. Perhaps its being fair skinned/redheaded...we shall see if you outgrow it. Your eyes are still a questionable color. You remind me so much of your sister, you are definitely siblings. 
  • Going on stroller-walks are a blast. You can ride just like a big kid in the BOB, so we got a double stroller to enjoy this springtime.
  • You love to stand and can "walk" as we hold your body. I can't wait for you to be able to sit up on your own, I have this suspicion that your fussies will go away as soon as you can keep yourself upright and watch the world.
  • I kiss you and your sister's tiny feet every time I change your diapers.(yes, every time!) It's my way of slowing down time and telling you I love you dearly. I also kiss your little heads each time I take you both in and out of the car- I cherish you both so much. You are amazing little people and I know these days are fleeting. I savor every moment, I truly do. 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

four months

oh, hi big boy.

What you have been up this past month:
  • You are always chewing on your hands. Not sucking, chewing and drooling. We think you will be getting teeth soon. However, we said that with Cora for about a year until she got her first ones.
  • You are sleeping for a 6-7 hour stretch at night. Sometimes it's a great night of sleep, others it's not so hot. Regardless though, you smile when you see us and fall back to sleep easily, I appreciate this. 
  • We tried solid foods in the past few days- not a fan. I will keep on trying.
  • You laugh! It's wonderful when it happens. You are ticklish under your arms and chin. You also think facial hair is funny- like dad and the grandpas. 
  • You are mesmerized by Cora and all of her movements. She likes to jump on her bed with you and lay under your play gym. She turns on your obnoxious toys for you and shakes them so you watch. That's about it. More playing I assume later on.
  • You are 16 lbs....and about 50-60% percentile in the rest. You fit into 6 month clothes. Not bad big guy.
  • Definitely red hair. I think it's going to stay. Your eyes sometimes look green, sometimes blue. I think blue, your dad thinks green. 
  • We like you a lot big guy, I almost forget what life was like with one kid. It took me 9 months to get used to the idea of having a son, and now I can't imagine it any other way. We are a nice little content family of four thanks to you.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

three months

tickle those tiny henry toes cora.

Wow...three months old Henry! I have been looking forward to this month...knowing the newborn stage would be gone and done with and we would be able to start seeing your personality. And it's true. 
You're a keeper.

What you have been up to this past month:
  • You are trying very hard to roll over. You can roll from your stomach to back sometimes... but now back to stomach is tricky. You are capable of a snaking movement that moves you all around in your crib/ground/any surface. That is why you have had two patches of red broken skin on your jowls. So much moving for those chubby cheeks.
  • You just found your hands, now grabbing/swatting at things
  • You like to talk/coo at just about everything. Its sweet. I swear you are close to breaking out into laughter. Soon I hope.
  • You smile at faces.... I'd like to think particularly at mine-however it's not really true. Your big crooked smile is adorable and warms my heart. 
  • You love watching your sister play. She likes to tickle noses with you, hold your hand in the back of the car and lovingly touch your head. I think she is used to you in her life now... actually we all are.
  • You are capable of sleeping one 7 hr stretch at night- sometimes it happens, more often its about a 5-6 hr stretch...then up every 3 hours for the rest of the night. One great night, then two bad ones. You are growing like crazy so its no wonder your sleep is erratic.
  • However you have adapted nicely to our bedtime routine we have with Cora. You take a nightly bath with Cora...splash your little chubby froggie legs, then we put on PJs, swaddle as tight as we can, give you a bottle and put you to bed around 7:30pm. You go down nicely...I'll give you that. Then wake up around 1 am...etc. At each nightly waking you eat, we change your diaper, and you go down smoothly. So thank you. We love routines.
  • You outgrew the colic!! I hadn't even realized it with our whirlwind lives, but you are actually a cool little dude. You no longer cry your little head off just for the hell of it. I wouldn't say you're a content babe- but not colicky. Yay!!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

end of maternity leave

so true...except now I have added scrubs back into my wardrobe (ie. work pjs)

We all survived... I am back at work! Maternity leave is over. And probably my last maternity leave ever. I had an extremely successful weekend back at work. I was afraid I would have forgotten everything having had 3 months off. But I didn't. It was like riding a bike. I even remembered my passwords! Matt did wonderfully well with the kids, of course. Daytime daddy fun days while I slept, and waking up with Henry all by himself throughout the night while I was working. People at work asked me if I was sad to be back, or missed my kids. Honestly... I was just fine. I was happy to be back at work. An excuse to leave the house, have adult conversation, feel like I am contributing a little more to the community....not to mention a full paycheck will be nice. I also enjoy my job as a nurse, so that's a good feeling. I knew Matt had it under control- with some help from grandparents too. I am not really cut out to be a stay at home mom. That job is much harder than going to work. So now our lives feel a little more balanced and back to normal. It will be more chaotic and I will miss spending family time on the weekends, but we are back to reality now.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

sleep and lack there of.

Is it ok that all of my posts in 2014 are about coffee? Yeah, that's just how life is right now. I feel like I could drink coffee all day long, and still want more. The lack of sleep for matt, henry and I sucks. We are reminded of why we don't care for this baby stage, and how eager we are to start sleep training. We are trying to rack our brains as to what exactly we did with Cora because it worked beautifully.

The huge difference is that when Cora was born I had Matt quit his job to help with her. She was so difficult! Soon after her birth I graduated college, took maternity leave and matt was on summer break from school. So we had her first 3 months with both of us at home to support one another. I eventually went back to work and matt went back to school but we had each other. He was such an incredible stay-at-home and school-fulltime dad, we all loved it and I believe Cora thrived with our routines and lower stress levels.

Now, I am on maternity leave but matt works and goes to school fulltime. He isn't around to help me out this time around during the week. Which was inevitable...most people work, but it is more challenging for all of us. Matt also has a ton on his plate- so I feel for him as well. I go back to work in about a week... so things will only get trickier. It is imperative that Henry starts sleeping! Henry doesn't understand for some reason though when I tell him this.

But why does he insist on getting up every 2 hours at night?! Perhaps he is going through a growth spurt? Is it his 2 month shots? He maybe is just that hungry? Maybe he is hot? cold? Maybe he hates the swaddle? Maybe his belly hurts, too much gas? not enough gas? ahhh... being a parent is exhausting! So my "sleep training" google searches have started, I am scouring my stack of baby-sleeping reference books, and reading through my previous posts on cora's spud months of development. There must be a solution. Or maybe he just will grow out of it.

If my sleep deprived memory serves me right,

with Cora:
0-3 months: sleep was struggle, she could not be put down, she fought the swaddle every nap and night, screamed at us at all hours. She slept on our chests or bouncy chair. Matt and I took "shifts"- matt was up through the whole night with her while I slept, and I had her in the morning while he slept.

3-4 months: transitioned to an inclined mattress in her crib, slept maybe a 5 hour stretch? Started a modified babywise/cry it out method

4 months: stopped breastfeeding, started on rice cereal...slept a 7-8 hour stretch at night still swaddled, using cry it out method.

5 months: started sleeping 11-13 hr stretch at night with no swaddle

5 months- 20 months (now): sleeps beautifully about 13 hrs every night. she goes to bed laughing with us and wakes up sweetly talking to her animal friends.

with Henry:
0-2 months: sleep was not such a struggle, swaddled. Nap about 1-2 hours throughout day/night. Able to be put down flat in his bassinet. However cried a lot with gas/belly pains and constantly walking/burping/jiggling.

2 months- 2.5 months (ie. now): stopped breastfeeding, only formula. sleeps for a 3-5 hour stretch, then cries/feeds every 2 hours throughout night.

I guess we need to be patient. It's no wonder that we started thoroughly enjoying Cora when she was 4 months old- no more silent reflux, no breastfeeding, no sleep deprivation, smiling and laughing babe.... surprise, surprise. Things will get easier. Until then, more coffee.

Monday, January 6, 2014

mom of two, in 2014.

Hello 2014! Finally I feel like a mom of two. The kids and I got all winter-geared-up... wait... have you guys seen this clip from portlandia? Hilarious.

Anyways... I felt like that, we were all geared up, cora in the bob stroller, henry in the boba carrier and we walked to starbucks. It was like heaven to me, regardless of the 27 degree weather...we did it. The kids and I... alone... the three of us... and coffee.
Thank goodness for iphone photos and instagram, it's about the only way I have been able to document our lives in the past several months. No time for blogging, no time to process our new lives, and very little time to sleep. It has been a whirlwind. I have less than 2 weeks left of maternity leave, and it feels like a whole lifetime has just flown by.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

two months

Our little tater tot is two months old and he is already looking like a big boy. I believe we are on the way up from here. I look forward to what this next month will bring us all (ie. sleep.)
What you've been up to this month:
  • I believe your favorite time of day is the morning. you like to hear us say "good morning!" and "oh, you look so good!"...because you smile and coo at us. You especially love your dad. When you find his face in the morning you have a huge grin.
  • now don't be fooled, we don't actually wake you up in the very much wake us up throughout the night and morning. you have a loud, angry cry that means you want to be fed, changed, burped and held. But at least you do go back to your bed to sleep another 3-5 hour stretch (finally!)
  • reluctantly we switched you from breast milk to formula at the end of this month. I think you are probably doing better, less gas, more sleep- or perhaps you are just growing up.
  • you love bath time, but despise being dried off after. your sister loves taking a bath with you. she won't leave your side and helps with cleaning your hair and feet. I can't wait to see you both play together!!
  • you now love diaper changes. so silly. you like to be kissed on your belly and toes...and smile with delight for a new clean diaper to be put on.
  • your hair is still red, but may be lightening, and your eyes have a blue-ish-gray hue. we think your legs just grew longer....and you look like a hefty dude. We love it.
  • we are still tired from lack of sleep, and feel that you just might be a colic-y baby....crying probably more than you should. I guess we just make unhappy babies. But we know that you will grow out of it soon, maybe this month?! ...Please.

Monday, December 30, 2013

other responsibilities.

I noticed our poor plant today. Yikes! I guess life is busy with kids. Sorry plant (and others).

Thursday, December 26, 2013

christmas card & tree

please don't mind the creepy 'stache... it was movember, unfortunately for the family photo.

So now that its officially after Christmas... how about an update? We did manage to take a Christmas photo... with all of us...minus the dogs...and well minus henry's screaming but adorable face. We did it....while cutting down a Christmas tree! And I even mailed them off. Yay! How do families do this with 2+ kids... I thought we were stretched thin with one kiddo. Yikes. When I see a mom out and about with a couple kids (all dressed), and the mom even looks like she had a shower...I am in awe. I feel like asking her how she does it, what's the trick? But if someone would dare hold me up while successfully shopping with kids, I'd kill them.

Let me reminisce a little at the past years...

which wasn't actually a card... somehow I was too busy?...and yet kid-less...blows my mind.
which is actually the same spot as this year's photo!

Oh yeah, so we cut down a Christmas tree a month ago too! We tromped through the snow, crossed a river (ok, maybe more a like a stream) and went through the woods to find some grand trees. It was actually on Thanksgiving. My sister and her fiancé and adorable puppies joined in on our tree-cutting tradition in Idaho. Totally a blast.

my little loves

the trees!

this little girl could eat snow all day long, and she has a friend who enjoys snow also.

 little kid and puppies? nothing cuter.

Monday, December 2, 2013

one month: tater tot

so serious little oaks.

Oh, henry... you're one month old! Time has just flown by. We try to put these difficult newborn hours in perspective...that it is only a phase that you will soon grow out of it. And we were right. You are growing right out of it. Now, you're more like a baby. Our little baby.

What you were up to this first month:
  • you have been great at breastfeeding from the first hour you were born... way to go hank!!
  • you were quite a peaceful baby during the first two weeks, sleeping a lot. We thought there must have been something wrong with you... but you were just normal. eat-sleep. eat-sleep.
  • from about 2 weeks on your "fussies" have ramped up. you sleep well for an infant, but then scream with gut pain/gas which makes us sad.
  • now you have about 1-3 hour stretches of naps at all hours of the day/night. you take about an hour to change your diaper, feed, and walk/burp/jiggle the gas out of you until you stop wailing. so we are exhausted...and ready for you to turn brief naps into some solid sleeping hours.
  • you enjoy bath time, hate diaper changes and love to be walked around in our arms.
  • you have quite red hair, and still those gray eyes. I think they are turning blue, your dad thinks they will be green. and your feet crack me up, they are exactly your dad's feet...but tiny and so sweet.
  • eesh! you are 12 pounds at 4 weeks (about a 4 lb weight gain)!! you are almost fitting into 3 month clothes, we think you may have some football in your future...yikes.
  • your sister loves the heck out of you, just like the rest of us. she wants to hold your hand, when you cry she walks around searching for your pacifier to give to you, she kisses you and lovingly touches your head, she likes to feed you with a bottle and when you are in my arms she will hop onto the couch and point to her lap and say be-be! be-be! reee?! (henry)... until I hand you over. she is only 19 months old but already you are her little brother and she is definitely your big sister.
  • you have fit quite nicely into our family, we love you dearly little son.
* Oh, and this lovely quilt is made by his grandma. Each month I will take photos on this quilt of him as he grows. We did the same thing with Cora (spud months). So much fun. Thanks grandma!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

a tater tot birth story

Hey there world, so it's been a month since Henry was born, how about a birth story?! 
I was waiting and waiting for this babe to come. My pregnancy symptoms were wearing on me, I was already on maternity leave, and all of our to-dos were done. I felt like he would show up early, but alas it was week 39....and still no tater tot. With Cora my water broke at midnight at home and we rushed to the hospital. So for some reason I expected this babe to come the same way- wake me up from the dead of sleep and we could excitedly run into the hospital. So every night that I would wake up to go pee, or have contractions...I thought ...this was it! But instead it was this Tuesday morning on October 29th that was a little different. Which let me tell you is also matt's dad and my mom's birthday.... super fun. Ok so let's talk birth story...

5:30 am
I woke up to contractions, but really I had been feeling contractions for about a month now. These felt a little lower however and a little more productive. The night before I had made a cake for matt's work but I hadn't finished the last steps. So at 5:30 I decided I should finish this cake. I also ran around finishing up laundry, cleaning the house. I kind of knew today was going to be different so I better get things in order.

7:30 am
Then I woke matt up when my contractions were a little more painful...and told him that we should probably go in. I really didn't want to be turned away, but my midwife had told me with second babes to watch for more painful contractions not the timing of them. So we took showers, had matt's wonderful parents come over to watch Cora and we gathered up our hospital bag (and cake) and left.

8:30 am
So we stopped at starbucks on our way. Matt needed a coffee if this was really "it." I don't think the lady at the drive thru window noticed I was that was good, which made our love addiction to coffee a little less awkward. We then stopped by matt's work to drop off the cake...I  rarely make a decorated cake, so I wasn't going to have it go to waste.

9:00 am
We got to labor and delivery... I figured they wouldn't take us seriously with matt's coffee in hand. Who stops for coffee if they are truly in labor? I thought they would send us home in a second. Instead... I was checked and my water was fully intact and I was about 3cm dilated. I was elated. But seeing how I hadn't been checked previously they didn't have anything to compare it to. They asked me to walk around for an hour in the halls then I could be checked one more time at 10:15. If I dilated- sweet, they would admit me and we are having a baby today! If no change, they'd send us on our way. I did the walking with matt. This time was fun- I could actually move, walk, sit. Last time my water broke first so all movements were incredibly painful. I couldn't walk, couldn't get in the tub- nothing. Pure pain. This time I had painful contractions in which I would stop walking, stop talking....couldn't really hear or process anything but the pain. Then when it was over matt and I would resume our conversation and walk the rest of the hallway until the next contraction. It was grand. We were excited. I knew this was labor, and I knew I was having a baby soon.

10:15 am
They checked me and I was 5cm dilated! Amazing. Last time it took me about 12 hours to get this far along. My nurse said she would admit me, call my midwife and start an IV. She attempted an IV- missing it. I told her I could do a few more laps around the halls- get those veins to pop out. She said no... she had other plans for me. I am actually having this baby quite soon. She had already called anesthesia for an epidural- she could tell I was in quite a bit of pain and she needed an IV now. I laughed....excited that this was for real.... let's get that IV! Last time I hemorrhaged post partum, and I definitely liked (ok, needed) the epidural, so I was on board with her plans. Everything was kind of a whirlwind. We answered a bunch of admitting questions, they started an IV and started the bolus of fluids. Anesthesia came and started the epidural. It really wasn't a big deal- little uncomfortable to be sitting hunched over during contractions- but whatever. Contractions are uncomfortable period. Like 10/10 pain regardless. So a tiny poke in the back? Minuscule. So now I could just relax a little and wait. My sister came to be a part of the delivery, which was different from last time when it was just Matt and I. It was great... someone to take pictures, to witness the pure craziness of welcoming a human into the world, and to be an added support for me (which she was!).

12:00 pm
My midwife popped in, and checked me again- I was 8 cm! I think my water partially broke somewhere around this time. She said she'd go change her clothes and grab some lunch and then let's have a baby?! She is so laid back, I loved it.

1:00 pm
My epidural wasn't really relieving the pain, I felt it quite low...and figured maybe something else was going on. I called my nurse in and my midwife came in also. She checked and I was 10 cm! My midwife threw on a face mask, and gown and sat at the foot of my bed... and said... so do you want to push?! I said uhh.... is it time to?! She said sure, if you want. I had forgotten how to and my legs were quite numb. So my sister took a leg, the nurse took the other and matt was up at my head coaching me to push. I pushed twice and I could hear the fetal heart monitor just drop each time. His heartbeat was either nothing, or rather close to mine (not good). My nurse and midwife said calmly.... "oh wow, he doesn't like this pushing does he! Let's go ahead and have this baby!!" I knew this was not a calm situation, but I appreciated their demeanors. Which is exactly why I chose my midwife to begin with...very calm and collected, soothing. With Cora I pushed for 2 hours, so I wasn't really sure what to expect but I couldn't freak out- I needed to focus on super good pushes. So I just closed my eyes and focused.

1:10 pm
Yep, about 10 minutes of pushing (4 pushes total) and he was out. I literally could not believe it. I think I was laughing or crying or in disbelief that this was it. Here was my healthy beautiful little boy on top of my belly now?! I was done? This was my "labor" experience, I felt like I was cheating. Way too easy. 6 hours? Not 17 hours like with Cora. Sweet!

So matt cut the cord... and our little Henry Oaks was born at 1:10pm on October 29th 2013. He was 8 pounds, 10 ounces and 20.5 inches long...with decent Apgar scores minus his super blue hands and feet.

Little Oaks latched right away breastfeeding, which just warmed my heart. What a boy... healthy, thriving and hungry.

I think I was hemorrhaging a little, but it was under control with Pitocin. I was able to walk a few hours later after the epidural wore off. I instantly felt amazing. Sure I was in pain, I just birthed a whole human... but I felt great, I was ready to do this mom thing, a little more experienced this time around.

After we got to our postpartum room we had Cora come meet her little brother. The grandparents brought her by....and it was precious. She climbed right up to the hospital bed into my arms and just starred at Henry. I'm sure she didn't know what to make of him, but she knew he was a baby and gently kissed him, all bundled up. She played for awhile in the room- unaware of how her little world just changed and then went home with matt and grandparents.

Kelsey (my sister) stayed with me for a few hours, until matt came back. It was glorious. We had girl talk, face-timed with our parents in California who would later come to meet him. And we ate sushi, and sipped champagne and reminisced about the glorious day while henry rested in my arms. It was perfect and exactly how I pictured a better postpartum experience could be. (thanks to Kelsey planning it out and executing it wonderfully)


Henry slept the first night off and on and more importantly breastfed perfectly through the night. He had a circumcision the next day and we asked to be discharged. I knew the real test would be at home... multitasking and survival of the sleep deprivation newborn stage.
We were ready. Let's do this Henry...

Friday, November 15, 2013

...2 weeks later.

Well it has been a whirlwind these past two weeks. Our little Henry is 2 weeks old and growing beautifully. He has been a great little newborn- much easier than Cora was, or perhaps we are more relaxed and less stressed out. But he is wonderful. Multitasking has been more of the issue. How to manage two kids under two... one being super mobile and one being almost zero. I just wish I had a few more sets of hands. Matt is back at school and work so I get to wrangle the kids all day long. It's a challenge, but I know each week will have its own set of struggles with them both growing and adapting to our life. These stages are fleeting, we know that now. So we are trying to savor these times, the good and sleepy times.

I read over my post last time at two weeks post-spud-birth [here], impressive... what a challenge she was, and our life had dramatically changed from just Matt and parenthood. This time it wasn't so shocking, we were just grateful to have a healthy babe to add into our family. We have been so thankful that he doesn't scream at us for hours upon hours- that he sleeps for 1-3 hour stretches, lying flat (cora had silent reflux and probably colic). He also breastfeeds like a champ. I am so proud of him being such a good newborn.

I feel amazing, the delivery was quick and recovery has been quite simple. Thank goodness! I was expecting what we all went through last time, and it just wasn't the case. This time it was smooth and wonderful. (Birth story to come shortly!) I forgot how bogged down pregnancy made me feel- so now I feel fully capable and ready to tackle this mom thing in a brand new way. Don't get me wrong we are still in survival mode... we are just a little more calm at this 2 week marker.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

halloween 2013.

I am quite proud to say we pulled off Halloween this year. Henry was born just two days I wasn't sure if we could do it. Cora was an owl, which I made her costume thanks to some pinterest inspiration. She was adorable. She knew how to knock on the doors (well, three to be exact- grandparents, auntie, and a friend's house), say "whoo whoo" and said "tree" for trick or treat and would exchange one candy from her bucket for a new one. Freaking adorable. Anyways, it was a success. Baby steps on this whole parenting thing with two kids.

This was also our first outing as a family... all cora wanted to do was hold henry's hand in the back seat. Pretty sweet.
This is henry's first he was a panda, courtesy of a cute hooded towel. We will do better next time for your costume little oaks...more time, more planning.

2012 cora was a sack of spuds
2011 an xray baby in utero.

Oh, and check out this graveyard cake I made for Matt's work party. Cute right?! Tiny candy rocks? Fun. I finished this the morning I went into labor and dropped it off on our way to the hospital. I put time into this cake... had to be enjoyed.